Definition of myth in English:

myth

Syllabification: myth
Pronunciation: /miTH
 
/

noun

  • 1A traditional story, especially one concerning the early history of a people or explaining some natural or social phenomenon, and typically involving supernatural beings or events.
    More example sentences
    • Another similar myth is the story of Cybele and Attis.
    • One well-known myth about Dionysus concerns the invention of wine.
    • One Palauan myth recounts the story of a magical breadfruit tree that the child of the sun provided for his human mother.
    Synonyms
    folk tale, folk story, legend, tale, story, fable, saga, mythos, lore, folklore, mythology
  • 1.1Traditional stories or legends collectively: the heroes of Greek myth
    More example sentences
    • Classic Norse myth is rife with stories concerning Loki's attempts to subvert Odin's authority, and Odin's retaliatory actions.
    • In later Greek myth Hecate is presented as the daughter of Hera and Zeus.
    • I think the timocratic structure of divinity in early Greek myth might be quite a good thing to apply to the tale of Eris, the apple and the Trojan War.
  • 2A widely held but false belief or idea: he wants to dispel the myth that sea kayaking is too risky or too strenuous there is a popular myth that corporations are big people with lots of money
    More example sentences
    • One of the most widely believed myths in America today is the belief that corporations are an inherent part of capitalism.
    • Allow me to dispel a few popular myths about US taxes.
    • He said the average customers were men who gambled at weekends, dispelling the popular myth that housewives were behind the rise in the popularity of poker.
  • 2.1A misrepresentation of the truth: attacking the party’s irresponsible myths about privatization
    More example sentences
    • Both major political parties propagate myths about young people.
    • In more recent times, myths and fabrications were used to justify America and Britain's Gulf War of 1991.
    • I hope to see a few myths and untruths put to bed in 2004, but first a confession.
  • 2.2A fictitious or imaginary person or thing.
    More example sentences
    • His secret masters of the world may be a myth, but imagining they exist can make for an enjoyable reading experience.
    • It should not surprise anyone if it turns out that Jean Houston's autobiography is a piece of fiction, a heroic myth spun by her imagination out of the fabric of her desires.
  • 2.3An exaggerated or idealized conception of a person or thing: the book is a scholarly study of the Churchill myth
    More example sentences
    • Idealized, regressive myths of a better, more magical time and place are a poor platform for making art.
    • There are myths and distorted concepts out there that may not be true.
    • Racial conflicts are being encouraged with vastly exaggerated figures and myths.
    Synonyms
    misconception, fallacy, false notion, old wives' tale, fairy tale/story, fiction
    informal tall tale, cock-and-bull story, urban myth/legend

Origin

mid 19th century: from modern Latin mythus, via late Latin from Greek muthos.

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